Pruning to Energy: a Case Study on Social and Ecological Benefits of a Value Chain
Bischoff, W-A., Küpfer, C., Schleicher, S., Bukowski, P., Dyjakon, A.
A pruning to energy (PtE) value chain was established along the lower fringe of the Alb mountains and is utilized by fruit tree smallholders of meanwhile 33 small towns in the Southwest of Germany (Baden-Württemberg). Additional participants are expected. The smallholders, farmers and the public of the region own ~15,000 ha of an extensive fruit tree – grassland with about 70 high stemmed trees/ha. PtE sustains the maintenance of a landscape, which is highly esteemed as a cultural heritage. In a situation, where fruit production is not economical alone, the combined benefits for heritage, social life, nature conservation and energetic use of prunings lead to an overall sustainable land use supported by all stakeholders. The focus presented is on the interaction of mutual benefits, which lead to an overall win-win situation economically tipped by PtE. A tentative calculation of Social Return on Investment (SROI) resulted in benefits of between 2.58 € and 23.81 € per 1 € of investment based on different scenarios. The values were strongly dependent on the labour cost. A calculation on society breakeven gave a "compensation" wage of ~22 €/hour for the pruning work of smallholders.
agricultural residues, energy, wood chips, pruning, social return on investment (SROI), traditional orchards
Biomass Policies, Markets and Sustainability
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